Yesterday my darling little girl performed in her first nativity show. She was Mary (one of a few), and she sang a little solo rendition of Away in a Manger. We didn’t know that she was going to sing the solo, and we only found out at the performance that she was the only child to sing solo in the whole show. It was a pretty big deal, especially as there were 100+ children (aged 3-5) taking part, plus a hall full of parents watching. She sang absolutely beautifully, so clear, so confident, word perfect. My daughter, who is still only 4, and a few months into school just sang her heart out, I was/am so so proud of her.
It got me thinking about these little moments of perfection in this unpredictable world of adoption. These little moments that fill us with pride, with hope. Moments that top our reserve and resilience tanks up for the challenges and battles that may lie ahead. These moments, they help us to believe that we are doing a good job of raising this little person, that we are doing something right. These moments that help us to look back to how far we’ve come. To remember that we use to dream of moments like these. I think when you’re waiting to be a parent, you dream of going to your little one’s first nativity. Sometimes those dreams seem and feel like a life time away. yesterday I realised that that dream came true.
Moments like these remind me what a wonderful little girl my daughter is. To remember what she has gone through and experienced in her life. To remember that she has not had the same start that most of the other children did. I am amazed at how well she is doing & what a fun, loving little character she is. yes, she has her struggles, but she’s thriving and making progress. moments like these are evidence that adoption can and does work. That permanence is important. I absolutely know that adoption and/or love does not solve everything. I know that we may still have our struggles in the future, but for now I’m going to rest in the wonder and magic that was created yesterday.
Moments like these mean that I very much have her birth family on my mind. I am conscious that as I publicly celebrate her successes, they may be feeling very sad and left out, especially at this time of year. I can imagine that they would have loved to be the ones sitting there watching her. Maybe they are thinking about her and wishing they knew how she’s doing at school. I do sometimes feel guilty for being the lucky ones experiencing watching her grow up and sharing all those important firsts with her. There has been quite a bit of debate recently around contact post adoption, and moments like these have made me realise that current contact arrangements are so unnatural. Yes, adoption happens for a reason, and sometimes contact is not appropriate or safe. But sometimes it is, and I feel like we need to explore how we can open it up a bit more between us and some members of birth family.
Moments like these make me feel excited for the future, and grateful for the positive 1st term we’ve had at school. They make me extremely thankful for a wonderful, supportive school where she is positively thriving. Next week she is going to receive a merit for outstanding achievement, which is evidence of how happy and settled she is there. They are also friendly, helpful and nurturing. I know not every school is like this, so I feel very lucky we have them. We are due to start Theraplay next year, so I know the future may be unsettled and more tricky. I’m going to try very hard to think back to ‘these moments’, and remember what a special, precious little girl she is.
To my darling little girl, thank you for making Mummy smile, you are wonderful…